Organisations that embrace ‘intelligent risk’ and prioritise ethics and transparency will gain competitive advantage over less risk-savvy competitors, according to new research.
SAI Global’s inaugural Consumer Trust Index found that 83 per cent of consumers globally rate transparency and ethical behaviour as vital to building trust. Topping the list at 88 per cent is a reputation for good quality products and services.
The global risk management firm surveyed 3,035 consumers globally between November 2016 and January 2017 to help businesses understand what trust means to them – how it is built, protected, lost and restored.
The index indicates that 43 per cent of customers would never return to a company following a data breach. Poor customer experience (31 per cent) and poor treatment of employees (29 per cent) would also keep customers away.
The report also highlights three key areas that can help businesses minimise the loss of trust and protect it going forward:
Handle failure well
Forty-seven per cent of consumers strongly believe that trust can be won back if responsibility for a failure is acknowledged, systems to prevent repeat errors are established and quality service is ongoing.
Companies that are vigilant in their response to crises and use a risk management framework to prepare and guide them through are more likely to win back the trust of their customers, according to the study.
Embed a risk-aware culture
Eighty-two percent of consumers believe excellent customer service and providing quality goods and services are signs of trustworthiness.
SAI noted that the use of quality management systems that embed a risk-aware culture are essential for companies to deliver a positive customer experience and build trust.
Take an ‘intelligent risk‘ approach
Taking an ‘intelligent risk’ approach – identifying, managing and optimising risks – will help organisations minimise consumer trust issues, the research found.
This enables organisations to focus on strategic goals, understand their risk appetite and allow them to take advantage of opportunities – all while building trust with their customers.
Peter Granat, chief executive of SAI Global, said taking an intelligent approach to dealing with organisational risk is critically important for businesses to ensure continued success.
“With technology rapidly altering and expanding public access to information, understanding consumer trust and knowing how to protect it is imperative,” he said.
“Trust is a powerful, valuable and fragile business asset – once lost, it can be difficult to win back.
“Today’s consumers wield enormous power in the trust relationship, which is why it’s so important to understand and protect their trust – particularly during times of crisis.”